GOOD

Spare Change for Social Change: Can Wasted Subway Fees Be Used for Public Good? MetroChange Could Turn Wasted Subway Fees Into Public Good

New York subway riders throw out $52 million worth of rides each year. Can MetroChange harvest that value back into the community?

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for December? Creative microphilanthropy.


New York City may be one of the most expensive places on earth, but that doesn't stop subway users from casting millions of dollars worth of rides to the wind each year. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority generously gives subway riders a 7 percent bonus when they purchase a multi-ride pass. Yet this bonus often turns into a burden: 70 extra cents on a $10 purchase doesn't get anyone too far when a single ride costs $2.25. The flimsy plastic MetroCards are often chucked or ignored when the balance runs below the value of a ride, amounting to more than $52 million in unused fares each year.

A new project from a trio of New York University students seeks to transform that monumental sum into a public good. MetroChange is their concept for a charity platform that would make it simple for subway riders to donate spare change to nonprofits. With a swipe at MetroChange kiosks set up in highly-trafficked subway stations around the city, subway riders could scan their card to see how much change was left. Then, with the push of a button, they could donate the balance. At the end of every month, MetroChange would turn that change into social change by donating it to charity.

According to MetroChange, the idea would work best if the kiosks targeted tourists, who are less likely to refill their cards. But while it sounds like a simple, effective idea, founders Stepan Boltalin, Genevieve Hoffman, and Paul Maywill need to convince a key partner to sign on: the MTA. According to MetroChange's blog, they see two likely ways to partner: The MTA could agree to return the "unused value back to the community where it originated" or an outside group could agree to make a monthly match. MetroChange is actively recruiting partners. Message them via Twitter to send your ideas.

[vimeo][/vimeo]

Photos via (cc) Flickr user paulmmay; Story via Springwise

Articles
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health